During the global emergency caused by Covid-19 the mix of touch points offered to customers changed and new journeys were born but above all we learned that in marketing, as in interpersonal relationships, it is appropriate to create stable and lasting relationships that can become valuable in moments of difficulty.
An interesting sector to analyse to draw ideas and indications is that of the airlines.
For what reason? Unlike the other sectors where there was a boom in demand (as in the case of the Food sector) or a drastic drop (as in the Fashion sector), in the world of air transport, the demand was completely cancelled.
This means that the product has not been available for about three months since all flights were detailed and production capacity has been reduced by over 90%, with losses estimated at around $ 300 billion (Source Iata).
How to act in these cases? You can maintain relationships and talk to your customers by resorting to your CRM and equally influence experience by taking advantage of loyalty programs.
Loyalty represents a strategy that begins with engagement, continues with on-boarding and takes the form of periodic activities that maintain an ongoing relationship between brand and user. In the case of airlines, the biggest challenge was precisely to maintain customer loyalty pending a return to normal.
Communication was strengthened, especially towards members of the loyalty program, to show interest and availability also through the creation of spaces dedicated to the main doubts related to the topic. One of the main concerns of travellers was that of being able to lose status and privileges accumulated due to the stop of air flights.
Some companies have used the hashtag launched by Lufthansa #weareinthistogheter to create empathy and closeness with their audience and have used the new touchpoints created in social networks to answer customer questions and launch new initiatives.
Among them, the initiatives promoted by British Airways stood out, which made the rules more flexible to allow the preservation of its status; Etihad Airways, on the other hand, donated points and created innovative ways to collect miles, and finally American Airlines, which distinguished itself by giving miles to customers who made donations to entities involved in the fight against Covid.
The action of the airlines was very timely and confirmed that loyalty programs play a key role even at times like these as they allow us to maintain solid relationships with our customers, keep networks of exclusive partners together and very often they are the only company division that produces profits, for example through cobranded payment cards.
The pandemic has also shown us how customers exist even when they cannot buy products and services and if companies have a solid CRM system and a loyalty program, they already have valid tools available to overcome the post-covid crisis, not only in the aviation sector.